“We are in the tightest candidate market in perhaps a decade. To leave my robust portfolio of clients – plus my professional network – for another agency would be foolish, no?”
That was the response from a candidate to our inquiry on a great job opportunity. And I get it. Kind of.
Where I challenge that statement is that the employee only knows one-half of the story: the one they are currently living. Without any kind of discussion about job possibilities, they are unaware of what something different might look like. And with the demand for candidates raging, wouldn’t the best talent want, at a minimum, to verify they have the best deal? The standard definition of a good job – and the compensation, culture, and benefits that go with it – is changing. The only way to understand the possibilities is to consider them.
If you are a passive candidate, discussing another position has no downside except a few minutes of time. If you really do have the golden ticket, there is no harm in simply confirming you have the best possible job. It may even expand your horizons or your approach to grow further in your position with your existing company.
But What If There is More Out There Than You Realize?
As a staffing company for the recruiting industry working with organizations of all sizes across varied verticals, we are seeing dramatic changes in what companies are willing to do to secure top talent. They are altering rules and expectations. Some are even willing to restructure their organizations to bring talent on board.
At the very least, we should restructure our own thoughts to consider what may be the new career possibilities.
What If Your Great is Only Good?
As an advisor on HR and career development, I encourage everyone to consider the following questions even when happy with your current position:
- What if what you think is the very best job is really only good? Isn’t that only measured through comparison?
- What if the upside of your compensation (even when currently high) is not as high as it could be somewhere else?
- Are you aware of all the incentives companies offer to make you whole or reward you when taking a new position?
- If a company is willing to move mountains to have you join their team, wouldn’t it be rewarding to be valued at that level?
Why Would a Million Dollar Biller Leave?
Repeatedly, we hear the shock and awe of companies and fellow employees when successful, high performers leave. The assumption is there could be no greener pasture than the one in which they were in. We had a recent placement who was a top biller of a national staffing company. She was established, knew her compensation plan was top in the industry and believed she understood her options. But a different company valued her to the point that they made concessions and offered her the freedom and culture she never knew was possible within a structure and vertical she did not know existed. Within a year’s time, she is on track to exceed her best year by 50% in an environment where she has never been valued more. The reality was there was a pasture greener than she had ever imagined.
Bridging the Gap
Companies understand the importance of talent. They know the best candidates need their risk minimized as much as possible to make a switch. To reduce that risk, we are commonly seeing the following concessions so that a job switch is not “foolish”:
- Compensation Guarantees
Many companies are offering guarantees to help new employees maintain or exceed their comp levels at their previous job.
- Signing Bonuses
Even for a commission-based job, new employees can make more money right off the bat with signing bonuses designed to offset risk and reward employees for making the jump.
- Legal Assistance
Another issue is worry over non-competes. Some companies will offer legal services to help defend the position that a non-compete is not in violation.
- Team Lifts
Fear of leaving your team? Take them with you! We have many clients who are not only open to hiring a team but are seeking out team lifts.
Our recent poll of staffing companies found that more than 95% of companies chasing talent will consider compensation guarantees and signing bonuses. As the market tightens further, expect those offers, along with further concessions, to rise.
Companies bend over backwards to make sure confidentiality is insured. There is nothing that makes it more impossible to find talent than a reputation that does not involve discretion. As I heard one of our team members tell a candidate this week: I am freakishly cautious about confidentiality.
Nothing to Lose. Everything to Gain.
Exploring possibilities is not a commitment to change. It is a multistep process that offers ample time to vet your employer and weigh your options. It is also a validation of where you are. It serves to confirm that you are in a great place. And if you are not, it provides you with an advantage to consider how you can capitalize on even greater opportunities.